China’s Economy: Heading for a Firm Landing?
Is China about to have a ‘firm landing’? China’s economy is often viewed as having the binary choice of experiencing either a soft or a hard landing. A soft landing is always preferred and is usually – when viewed as highly probable – enough of an assurance for most China watchers that all will be fine. A hard landing – according to its predictors – is almost always analogous with severe repercussions, including fallout that could potentially threaten social cohesion. However, interpreting China’s economic future as having only two possible paths is an oversimplification. China’s economy is complex and, with an uncertain global backdrop, several in-between scenarios are possible. By Kobus van der Wath
China’s SOEs: Stalled Reforms or Agents of Change?
Across much of the developing world, state capitalism – in which the state either owns companies or plays a major role in supporting or directing them – is augmenting the free market as the preferred development model. However, while China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have expanded faster than comparable multinational corporations (MNCs) in developed markets, they continue to suffer from lower levels of profitability. Moreover, these same SOEs are now facing weaker growth prospects due to a slowing economy both at home and abroad, leading them to reach a historical turning point. As China enters a new era of slower growth, China’s SOEs can either reminisce on their past successes or act as agents of change. By Daniel Galvez
FOCAC 2012: Sino-African Partnership Gains Momentum
The recently concluded triennial Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) in Beijing has become arguably the most important event at the centre of the ever expanding China-Africa relationship. The mechanism that was created in 2000 is intended to ‘strengthen the friendly co-operation between China and Africa…to jointly meet the challenge of globalisation and promote common development’. The objective of this year’s FOCAC was to elevate the Sino-African relationship to a new level by spurring more concrete commitments from both sides. By Walter Ruigu